LIVING Pictures in association with Cegin Productions’ stage presentation of David Mamet’s award-winning dark comedy Sexual Perversity in Chicago begins a tour of Wales at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, next week.
The play was revived only a fewyears ago when British actress, Minnie Driver and Friends actor MatthewPerry, starred in a Broadway version.
“Some places are a bit reticent to book it,” reveals director and actor Robert Bowman, “Because of the title, they think it’s a mad S& Mshow, but its not”
So what is it about?
“It’s about human relationships and a mammoth fantastic use of language, a really good dark comedy” explains Robert. “It’s a production which audiences will like; it’s not been done for a while. David Mamet is considered one of the great American writers. He wrote it as a series of duologues for some of his acting students and then he eventually put it together as a play.”
Although Robert who plays Bernie in Sexual Perversity in Chicago was born in Washington he reveals to me it’s not been easy slotting back into American mode: “Certain things they talk about in the play, I know them obviously.
But what’s hilarious is I’m probably the only true American in the play and having to work the hardest to get the Chicago accent”
Robert came over to England from America some 30 years ago and has worked with several repertory companies and the National theatres before moving to Cardiff with his wife in 2004. Since then, he has continued to be active in theatre as well as teaching drama at Trinity College, Carmarthen. “It’s nice to have different things to do in your career.” he says. Robert will not only act in Sexual Perversity in Chicago but directing as well: “It’s a good challenge, luckily I’ve got a great person involved called Nora Wardell who will be an associate director of it.
What’s great is when I’m rehearsing; I can sit in as an actor and don’t have to worry about the directing side of things. Nora will be there, the outside eye for us and that’s working well.“ Robert will be joined on stage by Ioannis Sholto as Danny, Lizzie Rogan as Deborah and Claire Cage as Joan.
I ask if Mamet’s play has dated since the 70s although Robert thinks it still carries a common theme. “What’s interesting is that sense sometimes of men not understanding women and women not understanding men.
“I think it will be a good theatre experience; you’ll get a taste of America in a particular era, which might remind some of the older ones of their own misspent or well-spent youths.
I think they will see elements of themselves in the play as well and they’ll understand it even though it’s America, it still resonates for all of us because the male-female relationship is a kind of timeless subject.”
●Sexual Perversity in Chicago is suitable for audience’s aged 16 and over and will be performed at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, between February 6 and 9 before it begins a tour of Wales. Visit shermancymru.co.uk or call 029 2064 6900 for booking details.